The sun was shining, I’d had a lovely morning with Ander, and I was in a great mood. So when the salesgirl offered to tell me about their new exfoliating products, I said “Why not?!”
Exfoliating face wash, exfoliating scrub to use in the shower, and then she pointed to the exfoliator mask, which I would need 10 minutes to apply, leave on, and wash off…….then she looked at Ander…..hesitating…..
“I know you’re a busy mom, so let’s see….how could you do this…. Maybe you could put it on when you’re giving him a bath, and then wash it off with the bath water before he gets out? Maybe when you have a bath? Do you ever get to have baths? That’s probably not likely…..Hmmm…..maybe when you brush your teeth in the morning…….”
This well-intentioned, sweet girl continued brainstorming all of the ways I could squeeze 10 minutes into my “busy” day, while Ander casually looked around the store and I tried to keep my head from exploding.
Poor Busy Mom
Okay, first of all, notice how I’m not just a mom but I am automatically a “busy” mom. Did I look busy? Nope. I was calmly listening to her talk about skincare products, while holding my sweet baby who was also smiling and calm. What could have given her the impression that I’m a “busy mom”? Is it just because I have a child? Is it really that inevitable? Do “being a mom” and “being busy” go hand in hand?
Now, I’m sure we can all agree that there is some truth to the “busy mom” story. Having kids does add a layer of complexity and busy-ness to our lives. Sure.
But holy shit, let’s not be ridiculous! If I want to exfoliate my face I can find 10 minutes!
And this is the problem I have with the label of “Busy Mom” - it makes us all disempowered martyrs; a bunch of victims to our circumstances.
“Oh, poor busy mom. You can’t possibly exfoliate, or read a book, or take a quiet walk. How could you? You’re a prisoner to your life. You don’t have the luxury of making choices; you’ve got too much going on. Now, continue on as you were - making dinner, vacuuming the floor, helping the kids with their homework, and rubbing your husband's feet while he plays video games. Poor busy mom.”
Fact - I will make time for the things that matter to me. End of story.
If I want to exfoliate my face, I will exfoliate my face.
If I say I don’t have time for it, or I’m too “busy”, what that actually means is that it’s just not a priority. And that’s fine, I don’t have to do everything. In fact, I highly encourage all of us to NOT do everything. But blaming it on being busy is lying to myself. Even worse, it diminishes my ability to make powerful, conscious choices with how I spend my time.
While I can imagine that this salesgirl has met many moms who come in and nod their heads about how busy they are, or laugh at the mere thought of applying a 10 minute mask, that is not me.
I resisted the urge to educate the lovely salesgirl on fueling mom stereotypes because that’s an edge I’m still working on. I’m an introvert. I need time to process my thoughts. High fives to all the women who can speak up in the moment; I’m still learning that one.
And then I bought the exfoliator that you use in the shower, because it smelled nicer and I’m not going to put on a 10 minute mask. Not because I’m too busy, but because I’m consciously choosing not to. I have clearly defined the priorities in my life, and right now masks are not one of them.
A practice to take this deeper…….
Try taking the word “busy” out of your vocabulary for the next 7 days. Simply notice what happens. What do you say instead? How does removing the word “busy” impact the choices you make? How does it make you feel?
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